From Bordeaux to Champagne, farmers in several French wine-producing regions are worried that their grapes will be harvested after several days of severe frost. The French government has marked the frost period as an agricultural disaster and is preparing an emergency assistance plan.
In some wine-producing regions, the temperature dropped to record lows on the evening of April 6, 7 and 8. For example, in Languedoc in southern France, mercury levels have dropped to -8 degrees Celsius. In other places, such as Burgundy, it became between -4 and -5.
Jérôme Despey, a wine grower in the Hérault region of southern France, says that night cream will have “serious consequences”. He said that the temperature has been devastating his crops.
Despey, who is also the secretary-general of France’s largest farmers’ federation, called on the government to take action on all affected sectors. Peach, nectarine and apricot trees are also affected by the cold.
Experts estimate that the damage to farmers is the greatest in decades. Local agricultural authorities worry that 50% to 90% of the grape harvest will be lost.
Winemakers in the Burgundy region are known for their white wines, and it is estimated that at least 50% of the grape harvest has been lost. The Guardian writes. Philippe Pellaton, a winemaker in the Rhone Valley, talked about the lowest harvest in forty years. He is worried about losing 80% to 90%.
French Prime Minister Castex said during a visit to a winery in Ardèche this morning that ten regions of France have been affected by frost. He promised to set aside a “special amount” for the affected farmers.
According to Minister of Agriculture Denormandie, hundreds of thousands of hectares of agricultural land have been affected. Because of this “agricultural disaster”, he promised an emergency kit to the affected farmers. This will include tax incentives. The minister also called on banks and insurance companies to contribute capital.
In the past night, grape growers did everything possible to protect their crops from the cold. Some blur the vines and form a layer of ice around the plants.
In the Chablis wine region, farmers put burning torches, large bales of straw and log baskets in the vineyard to prevent the buds from freezing:
Despite the measures taken, many plants were freeze-dried. Winemaker Dominique Guignard said: “It broke like glass because there is no water in it. protector.
After a few hours in the sun, the buds and leaves turned gray: